Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:00-6:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table across from the front desk in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, program materials, and other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.
Dinner: In the hotel meeting room, we will have a plated meal including salad, entrée, side dish, dessert, and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water.
Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Our Group Leader is an expert local historian who will serve as our primary lecturer and Study Leader. We will do a lot of walking in this program and use a trolley that has 4 steps up/down. Vouchers for breakfast will be provided. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful, rewarding, and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley. Walking up to 1.5 miles, some standing; few short breaks; climbing steps; uneven terrain.
Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room, enjoy a full, hot breakfast along with coffee, tea, juice, and water with fellow participants before starting the day.
Morning: In the meeting room, we’ll have an overview of Savannah's humble beginnings, the city, and the river. River Street, lined with 200-year-old cobblestones, was once dominated by warehouses storing cotton.
Lunch: We’ll walk to a favorite local eating establishment that features a delicious Southern buffet with choices such as fried chicken, homestyle veggies, salad bar, homemade dessert, and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll set out on an expert-led field trip via trolley and walking in the picturesque squares of the Historic District. We’ll stop along the way to admire and learn about various monuments and sites. From the National Park Service: “The Savannah Historic District, a National Historic Landmark, is significant for its distinctive grid plan as well as its 18th and 19th century architecture. The district encompasses the original town plan laid out in 1733 by Gen. James E. Oglethorpe, founder of the British colony of Georgia. Today Savannah retains much of this plan based on divisions also called wards, squares, and ‘trustee lots.’ Most of the original squares remain and are surrounded by fine examples of buildings in the Georgian, Greek Revival, and Gothic styles.”
Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated dinner with salad, choice of two delicious entrées, side dish, dessert, and beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. After a long, busy first day, there will be no formal activity after dinner tonight, leaving plenty of time to linger over the evening meal and get better acquainted.
Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley. Walking up to 1 mile, standing indoors and out.
Breakfast: Hotel restaurant hot breakfast.
Morning: We’ll be joined by a talented balladeer and music historian who will reveal the stories “behind the music” of some quintessential American songs as he plays and sings.
Lunch: At a restaurant that opened in the 18th century as a tavern and inn for seafarers, we’ll enjoy a traditional Southern buffet with choice of 2 entrées, several side dishes, dessert, and coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. The historic Pirates’ House comprises two of the oldest buildings in Georgia and we can still see the original hand-hewn ceiling beams joined with wooden pegs. Back then, it was not only a gathering place for pirates and assorted ruffians, but where unwary seamen were often “shanghaied” — drugged and carried aboard short-handed ships. Savannah and the Pirate’s House are mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island.”
Afternoon: We’ll take a trolley to the Ships of Sea Maritime Museum for a presentation by an interpreter dressed in period uniform to learn about the USS “Savannah.” Launched in 1937, she served valiantly throughout World War II, from the North and South Atlantic to North Africa, and the Mediterranean, receiving three battle stars. She was decommissioned in 1947 and eventually scrapped, but the memory of the ship and those who served on her lives on at the Museum.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to try one of the many and varied dining establishments in the area we have not experienced. The hotel concierge can also assist you in deciding where to go.
Evening: At leisure. See and do more of what interests you the most.
Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley. Walking up to 1.5 miles, standing indoors and out; climbing up/down flight of stairs.
Breakfast: Hotel restaurant hot breakfast.
Morning: We will board a trolley to ride to the Wormsloe Heritage Site on historic Moon River. This tabby ruin is the oldest standing structure in Savannah, dating from Colonial times. We will also visit the on-site museum filled with artifacts unearthed at Wormsloe and view a short film about the site and the founding of Georgia. We’ll continue our explorations at the Pin Point Heritage Museum, located in the remains of an old crab factory, for an introduction to Gullah/Geechee culture. We will have a lecture in their classroom and a local crab netter will demonstrate how to make and use a crab net!
Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to try one of the many and varied dining establishments in the area we have not experienced. The hotel concierge can also assist you in deciding where to go.
Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to explore further in the beautiful Historic District or venture out into surrounding areas to take in sights and points of interest not included in our program.
Dinner: Hotel meeting room plated meal.
Evening: To celebrate New Year’s Eve, we’ll ride to the Historic Savannah Theatre (opened 1818) for Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, a special night of entertainment, including the two-hour musical variety show “Savannah Live,” as well as a champagne toast! “Savannah Live” features a live band and cast of singers performing hits from Broadway, Jazz, Pop, Rock & Roll, and more. Those who like can return to River Street via trolley to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks at the stroke of midnight.
Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley. Walking up to 2 miles, some long periods of standing.
Morning: Free Time. We’ll have a relaxed morning after our fun-filled evening.
Brunch: In our meeting room, we’ll enjoy a New Year’s Day brunch.
Afternoon: Another fascinating aspect of Savannah is its historic cemeteries. Via trolley, we’ll visit some of the final resting places for many of Savannah's distinguished, notable, and eccentric citizens. Bonaventure Cemetery was named for Bonaventure Plantation, where it was developed. It served as a private cemetery from 1846 until 1907, when it became available to the public. Bonaventure has long been a famed spot for visitors as well as Savannahians due to its roadways lined with old trees, distinctive cemetery art and architecture, and surely thanks to folk tales of ghosts and statues that come to life. It figures prominently in John Berendt’s non-fiction novel, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” We will also visit Colonial Cemetery, dating from 1750, where many of Savannah’s earliest citizens are buried along with victims of the 1820 Yellow Fever epidemic and numerous 19th century duelers. Colonial was designated as a city park in 1896 and it, too, is reputed to be haunted by ghosts. Like Bonaventure, Laurel Grove Cemetery was originally part of a plantation. The North section includes more than 1,500 Civil War dead from common soldiers to generals as well as the grave of Juliet Gordon Low who founded the Girl Scouts. Laurel Grove South Cemetery is one of the oldest black cemeteries still in use and is notable as the final resting place for many “free persons of color and slaves.” Inscriptions tell an intriguing story all their own. Laurel Grove is a stop on the African-American heritage trail.
Dinner: In a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated meal with salad, choice of two delicious entrées, side dish, dessert, and coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is free. Prepare for check-out and departure tomorrow.
Activity note: Check-out by 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast: Hotel restaurant hot breakfast.
Morning: For our final lecture, we’ll be joined by a local expert in the field of Early Savannah Architecture; learn how talented, diverse designers and builders "sculpted" Savannah's Historic District into the charming, character-filled locale it is today. This concludes our program. As we bid farewell to new Road Scholar friends and our Group Leader, we hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!